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Cochin

Today a sleepy, relaxing port town, Cochin was once a prosperous, cosmopolitan city built upon the spice trade. Throughout its long and tumultuous history, Cochin has been contested by a series of warring powers, from local Indian empires to the Dutch, the Portuguese and the English. Despite such tumult, Cochin remained a key destination for traders throughout the Malabar (southwest) Coast and the Indian Ocean, among them the Chinese, Syrians, Jews, and many more. Thankfully, Cochin, renamed Kochi after independence, has managed to preserve not only its small-town, quaint atmosphere, but also its beautiful colonial architecture, positioning it as one of India's leading tourist destinations in the south.
Today a sleepy, relaxing port town, Cochin was once a prosperous, cosmopolitan city built upon the spice trade. Throughout its long and tumultuous history, Cochin has been contested by a series of warring powers, from local Indian empires to the Dutch, the Portuguese and the English. Despite such tumult, Cochin remained a key destination for traders throughout the Malabar (southwest) Coast and the Indian Ocean, among them the Chinese, Syrians, Jews, and many more. Thankfully, Cochin, renamed Kochi after independence, has managed to preserve not only its small-town, quaint atmosphere, but also its beautiful colonial architecture, positioning it as one of India's leading tourist destinations in the south.

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"Jew" Town

Once home to Cochin’s large, thriving Jewish population, today the “Jew” Town area hosts a series of spice shops, antique stalls and souvenir stores. While most of Cochin’s Jewish inhabitants emigrated following the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, many of their houses still stand – painted bright, cheerful colors and built along old world designs.

Cochin Bay

Visit Cochin’s famed bay, where Chinese fishing nets continue to be operated by hand. Get a brief but robust upper-body workout by helping fishermen operate these magnificently antiquated contraptions, with giant rocks used as counterweights. If you make an exceptionally good haul, you can buy fish straight from the men manning the net and have a hawker near the Dutch House (a few minutes walk away) fillet it on the spot.

Colonial Architecture

Explore the winding, narrow streets of Cochin, which sport a charming, unusual blend of colonial architecture and native aesthetics. Walk past houses with whitewashed stucco walls and tiled roofs, imposing forts with grand archways, and Catholic churches reminiscent of old Portugal – with prominent bell towers, columns, and high ceilings.

Cooking Class

Meet an affable and welcoming woman who is an expert chef in the Syrian-Christian culinary tradition; Remote Lands can arrange private cooking classes in her home for those interested in learning more about this cuisine.

Kerala Backwaters

After cruising to a delta with smaller canals, switch to a canoe, which will be manned by a backwaters resident. Glide past well-kept homes where you’ll often see women doing laundry and hear children cheekily calling out. The backwaters are a must-do in Kerala, and as such are quite popular with domestic and international travelers who sometimes have treats for the children they meet.

Kerala Houseboat

Explore the backwaters of Kerala from a houseboat. The merging of the freshwater rivers and the saltwater in the Arabian Sea creates lagoons and lakes along the coast that are home to unique marine biodiversity.

Paradesi Synagogue

Visit the historic Paradesi Synagogue, which was built in 1568, and stands in Cochin's old Jewish quarter, known as "Jew" Town. Cochin Jews are so few today that they cannot form a minyan – a quorum of 10 men – without Jews from outside Cochin, but services are still held here, making it the oldest functioning synagogue in the commonwealth of former British colonies. Antiquities that you will see inside include the Scrolls of the Law, several gold crowns received as gifts, many Belgian glass chandeliers and a brass-railed pulpit.

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

Making Gods: Exploring Calcutta’s Kumartuli District

Making Gods: Exploring Calcutta’s Kumartuli District

Author : Annapurna Mellor
Annapurna Mellor travels to Kumartuli district Calcutta, a place where they make gods from scratch. From straw to the finished product, this journey takes us to the genesis of India's spiritual sculptures.
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Photographer’s Guide to the Pushkar Camel Fair

Photographer’s Guide to the Pushkar Camel Fair

Author : Annapurna Mellor
Photographer Annapurna Mellor travels to the Pushkar Camel Fair deep in the Rajasthan desert and brings back truly otherworldly photos of this deeply cultural event.
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Instagram Journeys: A Culinary Tour of India

Instagram Journeys: A Culinary Tour of India

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You can feed your eyes all you like, but if you want to taste these Instagram-worthy dishes from India, you're going to need to hop on a plane to the subcontinent.
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India’s Slice of Southeast Asia: 5 Reasons to Go to the Andaman Islands

India’s Slice of Southeast Asia: 5 Reasons to Go to the Andaman Islands

Author : Travelogues
Between the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, there are the Andaman Islands, a little bit of India in Southeast Asia well worth the journey.
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A Guide to New Delhi’s Very Best Luxury Hotels

A Guide to New Delhi’s Very Best Luxury Hotels

Author : Raghav Modi
A jumping off point for places like Madaya Pradesh and Rajasthan, New Delhi's status as a travel hub for India has attracted some of the finest hotel accommodations in the country.
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Weekend in Bhopal: Stone Age and Stone Cities

Weekend in Bhopal: Stone Age and Stone Cities

Author : Scott Rainen
Some places have the grand imperial dynasties, others forgotten cities, but from Bhopal travelers can look all the way back to the Mesolithic Period.
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WHY CHOOSE US

WHY CHOOSE US

Couple from Texas - Aman Jet Expedition, October 2016
“ We have used some of the top rated travel specialists all over the world and, without question, Catherine Heald and Remote Lands are at the very top of the list! ”
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Tour China's Contemporary Art Scene With Remote Lands
Tour China's Contemporary Art Scene With Remote Lands
  by Luxury Travel Advisor
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Honeymoon on a boat made for two
  by Financial Times

FEATURED JOURNEYS

FEATURED JOURNEYS

Aman Private Jet Expedition

Aman Private Jet Expedition

China - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka
October 12-28, 2019
Aman Private Jet Expedition Across China

Aman Private Jet Expedition Across China

BEIJING - XI'AN - HANGZHOU - CHENGDU - LIJIANG - ZHANGJIAJIE - SHANGHAI
September 8-20, 2019
Aman Global Private Jet Expedition

Aman Global Private Jet Expedition

Japan - China - Vietnam - Thailand - Bhutan - India - Greece - Montenegro - Italy
April 15 - May 6, 2019
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Japan
July 24 - Aug 9, 2020
Aman Private Jet Expedition

Aman Private Jet Expedition

China - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka
October 7-23, 2018
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